Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

The sun has set on 2014 and it certainly has been an interesting year.  I spent the day hiking at Big Basin which for me is the perfect end to the year.

I did the 11 mile loop among the towering redwoods and visited the 3 waterfalls the park is famous for.

Now, its time to get some rest and celebrate New Year's in East Coast time.  Happy 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bosque Sunrise

Bosque Sunrise - 1Ds3, Zeiss 21, f/5.6, 1/30s, ISO 100
Another spectacular sunrise image at Bosque del Apache from a few years ago.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Snow Geese in Flight

Snow Geese in Flight - 1D4, 300mm, f/9, 1/30s, ISO 200
Time to start getting pumped for Bosque del Apache.  This was from a trip 4 years ago, Bosque is a great place to do panning blurs of the Snow Geese and Cranes in flight.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


A year  ago I was sitting in my living room wondering if would be able to get out and do another serious hike.  It had been a couple of weeks since the surgery to fix my broken fibula and dislocated ankle.

I was happy to prove to myself today that the answer is yes (well very likely so).  I went on a ~7 mile moderately strenuous hike at Pinnacles National Park, about 2 hours south of San Jose.

This is an area that Kim I used to hike frequently when we first moved here and its a place with interesting views, caves and lots of trails.  However, its been several years since we visited the park and so took the opportunity to hike here with visiting family.

Up until this point, the most strenuous hike I have attempted is small 1-1.5 mile hikes with only moderate elevation changes.  I didn't want to schlep a bunch of camera gear as well so opted to take a little Panasonic LX100 and see what it could do.

I had forgotten all the interesting things to photograph in the park and so it was fun rediscovering these scenes.  I didn't do any processing to these images, just the VSCO Velvia preset in Lightroom and some quick tonal touchups.

In my peak hiking days and before my injury, a 7 mile hike with only a ~1300 ft. elevation change would have been an easy hike but at this point I am happy enough to just be able to do it.

Only my ankle feels sore, though I guess I'll find out tomorrow what else hurts.

Now I need to work my way up to the 11 mile Berry Creek Falls loop in Big Basin.  That will be the goal this spring.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Davenport Sunset

Davenport Sunset - D810, Zeiss 15mm, f/22, 0.5s, ISO 64
I managed to get down to Davenport Beach and make a few images.  Despite wispy clouds we didn't a sky full of color but still a little bit on the horizon where the sun was setting.   This is the first time I've been there in the winter, so the sun was setting in a different place that when I was last here in the spring.

The Crack

The Crack - 5D3, 17 TS-E, f/22, ISO 100, 80 frames stacked.
I am planning on heading to Davenport Beach with some family this afternoon for some photography and so looked back to the last time I was there.  In spite of being only an hour away from where I live, its been 20 months since I was last there.  This is Davenport crack, a deep channel which fills with water and drains as the waves come in.  I remember last time I forgot my filter set at home and so had to rely on taking 80 frames and stacking them in Photoshop to get a psuedo long exposure.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Basin Falls

Basin Falls - Alpa STC, IQ 180, Rodenstock 32mm, ~f/11, 8s, ISO 35.
This is Basin Falls, again in Uvas Canyon County Park.  I went back there this morning and its amazing how different the place was.  The volume of water flowing was considerably lower and the place was much dryer and the greens less vibrant.  We need more rain like the storms from a couple of weeks ago.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Stream and Moss

Stream and Moss - Alpa STC, IQ 180, Rodenstock 32mm, ~f/11,  3s, ISO 35
Another one from Uvas Canyon, this time a 100 megapixel panoramic.  I did something I don't usually do when making this image which is to use my wide angle 32mm lens with shift to stitch together a panoramic, but I had left my really wide lens at home so I had no choice.  I also wanted everything from the little brown leaf at the bottom to all the rocks along the stream in focus; a couple of degrees of tilt helped with that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Stream and Falls

Stream and Falls - Alpa STC, IQ 180, Schneider 120 APO, f/11, 3s, ISO 35.
Uvas Canyon County Park is only about 30 minutes from my house and has several little waterfalls, making it a fun hiking spot and good place to practice some photography.  Only last week did I learn of this place from buddy +John Nack so I set out to channel my inner +Brian Matiash and make some moving water images.  I was a little surprised at how much there was to photograph there and am looking forward to returning many more times.

I was out to practice playing around with plane of focus control with tilt and for this image I used the latest addition to my technical camera kit, the superb Schneider 120mm APO lens.  On my Alpa STC, I was able to shift, creating this 140 megapixel vertical panoramic as well as tilt to bring the foremost foreground rock and the far back cascades and ferns in the same wedge of focus.  +Andy Biggs, you want this piece of kit buddy.

Ferns and Moss

Ferns and Moss - Leica S, 30-90 @ 42mm, f/8, 1/2s, ISO 100.
Another one from Purusima Creek from this weekend.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Aspens - D800e, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/13s, ISO 100
I didn't quite find the dense clump of Aspens on my last trip to Grand Teton, but by running a couple from top to bottom and framing to get color at the edges, I still got a mildly interesting image.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Tentacles - Leica S, 30-90 @ 57mm, f/8, 2s, ISO 100
Its been nearly 2 months since I last went out with an intention to make photographs, so this afternoon my daughter Maya and I drove out to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve for a little hike.  I had no expectations to make unique images, but only to exercise photographic creativity, which I definitely needed.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sunrise Colors

Sunrise Colors - 1Ds3, Zeiss 21mm, f/5.6, ISO 100
Spectacular sunrises and sunsets are also frequent as Bosque del Apache, something else I'm really looking forward to.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Landing - 1D4, 800mm, f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 400.
I'll be heading back to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico in a few weeks for a couple of days of photography.  The last time was there was in 2010 and I've heard that conditions in the refuge have changed, so I'm curious to see what the snow geese and sandhill crane situation is like.  I've been looking at images from my past trips to get myself pumped up and I'll be sharing a few more from those trips this week.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Facing the Storm

Facing the Storm - 5D3, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/8, 1/640s, ISO 100
A group of King Penguins face an incoming storm on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sink and Sand

Sink and Sand - Alpa STC, IQ 180, 60 XL, ~f/13, 5s, ISO 35
Even though the sand has taken over this room, its amazing how vibrant the colors on the wall were.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Abandoned Barn in Storm

Abandoned Barn in Storm - 1Ds3, 70-200 @ 200mm, f/5.6, 1/400s, ISO 200
I made this image on my 2011 trip to Grand Teton National Park and I believe it was just a quick snap made during the second shoot in the morning.  I just came across it in my library last night and it felt perfect for a black & white.